The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Friday said it continues to make significant gains against communist insurgents, reporting that guerrilla fronts of the New People’s Army (NPA) have been reduced to 24 in 2022, down from 89 in 2016.
AFP spokesperson Colonel Medel Aguilar, quoted in an ABS-CBN News report, said of the 24 remaining guerrilla fronts, only 5 are active while 19 have weakened significantly.
Aguilar said if the AFP can sustain its efforts, the communist fronts will weaken and eventually dismantled.
The official also said the AFP believes the government’s Community Support Program (CSP) has been effective in solving the insurgency problem in the countryside.
He said right now, local government units are heading the CSP. The AFP has also been successful in addressing the threat of local terrorist groups, according to Aguilar.
The AFP further reported that around 50 suspected members of local terrorist groups have been neutralized in the first three months of the Marcos administration.
“During the first three months of the President, we have neutralized more or less 50 members of the local terrorist groups,” Aguilar said at a televised public briefing.
According to Aguilar, firearms were also recovered from the neutralized rebels.
Aguilar made the statement when asked about the status of the campaign of the AFP against the Abu Sayyaf Group and other local terrorist groups.
Aside from addressing violence, Aguilar said the AFP is also working on preventing these groups from recruiting more people as their fighters.
In November, AFP chief Lieutenant General Bartolome Bacarro said the outlawed New People’s Army is left with only 2,112 members.
The firearms of the rebels have also been reduced to around 1,800, Bacarro added.